Collaborative learning takes place when two, or more people, come together to learn something in particular. The basic idea of this type of learning is that there is collaboration and interaction on the part of the group that intervenes.
Collaborative learning has been increasing over the years. The central idea is that a student can learn through their membership in work groups where they share ideas, enrich each other through the expression of their opinions and skills, and generate a habit of cooperation leading to the achievement of results.
Some manifestations of this type of learning can occur in the following events: discussion groups, the formation of study teams for certain subjects, the creation of writing groups, painting groups, among others. In these types of activities the group is in constant interaction to contribute its value points.
It was Lev Vygotsky, a 20th century Russian psychologist, the promoter of this theory who expressed the idea that there were things that could not be learned individually, and that they could be achieved through external help, and group cooperation .
The objective of collaborative learning is to be enriched thanks to the ideas, opinions and skills of the rest of the individuals who participate.
Advantages of collaborative learning
These are the most representative:
- Motivation and cooperation among the members that make up the learning team are encouraged.
- The members try to do their best to rise to the occasion.
- Involvement on the part of all students is encouraged in order to learn what is being studied.
- There is a bonus of help, apart from that of the teacher, of the rest of the members.
- There is a cultural enrichment, exchange of ideas, skills, constant learning.
- It can improve the self-esteem of the participants.
- The relationships between the colleagues that make up the group can be strengthened and improved.
- Individual anxiety can be reduced, since the weight of responsibility is shared when developing learning.
- Remember what has been learned during the implementation of this option increases.
- Individual responsibility will be reinforced since students know that their work will influence the rest, so it will be something that they will develop and will serve them for future competitions and practices.
Disadvantages of collaborative learning
These are the most prominent disadvantages:
- There can be a large knowledge gap between team members, presenting certain problems in practice or imbalances.
- The environment must be well prepared for development, or else it can be demotivating.
- It may happen that some members develop certain roles of mandate, authority, and do not listen to the rest. In this case, certain disagreements may occur.
- The educator, or teacher, should be the one who values the implementation of these groups according to the characteristics of the members and their needs. If you do not have a previous preparation, it can be a bad option since you have to be controlling the entire process.
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